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Bets urged to include climate issues in platforms

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is hopeful that candidates running in the 2016 elections would include climate issues in their platform of government.

CCC Assistant Secretary Joy Goco said climate change issues were not given much attention during the campaign in previous elections.

She said the recent big disasters might encourage candidates to present programs to mitigate the impact of natural calamities.

“Our appeal is for them to make climate change a priority,” Goco told editors and reporters at The STAR last Wednesday.

Goco said the CCC supports legislation that would strengthen the country’s resiliency to disasters.

The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to calamities because of its geographic location.

“Before, there was lack of attention to climate issues. Now, I’m sure they will come up with programs to address it,” she added.

The measures backed by CCC include a bill that would further enhance energy efficiency and the National Land Use Act, which is expected to boost the government’s disaster risk reduction efforts.

Climate change has been linked to extreme weather conditions and has been attributed to human activities like the use of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases.

Some groups, however, are not convinced that human activities are connected to climate aberrations, noting that there is no scientific consensus yet on the matter.

Critics also claimed that some groups are resorting to “climate change alarmism” to promote the interests of those who have investments in alternative energy and green technology.

Despite the differing views, Philippine officials have cited the need to prepare for disasters to avoid casualties and minimize property damage.

Disasters have damaged about P285 billion worth of property and have claimed the lives of more than 13,000 persons in the Philippines since 2010, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

More than 52,000 persons have been injured while about 2,800 others have gone missing during the same period.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet in France in December to discuss ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius.

The Philippines has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 if it receives assistance like financial resources, technology development and transfer and capability building.

ACIRC

ASSISTANT SECRETARY JOY GOCO

CCC

CHANGE

CLIMATE

CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION

GOCO

NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

NATIONAL LAND USE ACT

NBSP

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION

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